20203“The only remedy for love is to love more.”

Henry David Thoreau

So it’s almost Valentine’s Day… again! Seems like there is always some holiday right around the corner which requires us to be reflective about our lives and pull our loved ones in close. 

Some days I can’t decide if I am a hopeless romantic or too independent- can I be both? I have had two successful marriages which ended but they left me with great memories, unbeatable lessons and a better understanding of myself. 

While I enjoy being part of a ‘we’ and the support and love that comes with it, I also thrive on my own. The realization that I am as happy being single as I am coupled up has liberated me from seeing another person’s presence or absence as the key to my happiness. 

In Huatulco I am surrounded by many inspirational couples. Some have been together for 60 years while some are on their 4th marriages. What is clear is that to be human is to have the need to connect with other people. However, I have learned that this connection can come from all sorts of unlikely places. As I move through the world I can find tremendous satisfaction in simple interactions with a strangers; talking to the cashier at the supermarket, smiling at people sitting beside me in traffic or hugging a friend. It is in these small interactions which feed my need for connectivity.

Humans are born wired for connection – it’s in our DNA, as strong a need as food, water and warmth. Unless newborn babies successfully attach to their mother, they won’t be able to survive. Yet the in world we have created we are more disconnected than ever. 

We are living in a paradigm of ‘I and the other.’ We have drawn a border between ‘us and them’ whether we are speaking about people from another country or of a different race or religion. One of my favorite quotes by Ramana Maharshi asks ‘how are we to treat others?’ and the answer is simply ‘there are no others.’ If we were all to adopt this way of viewing the world we would change the way we deal with immigration, war, natural disasters and poverty. If we could see our reflection in the face of everyone we meet we couldn’t help but become better versions of ourselves.

Forget focusing your love only on your partner this Valentine’s. Let it spread out and touch everyone you meet. Feel your being connected to all those you come in contact with- that is what we are here for. 

See you next month.